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The Small Town Photographer

Bill Jeffcoat

Bill Jeffcoat


A note from Bill Jeffcoat about being a small town photographer:

“One of the delights was one got in on a lot of social and family events by taking photos at the location.  Weddings, family gatherings, reunions, class reunions, whatever when those who could, hired a photographer.

“Knowing all the people, the cameraman would just hang around after his job and visit and socialize.  Normally, he would not be invited to these affairs, but it gave him a chance to observe the family interacting with each other and record all of this in his mind to mull over and think about the small town society as part of his life also.”

Notes on the Belle Springs Creamery and Abilene Natatorium

Belle Springs CreameryThis longtime Abilene business actually began in the small Dickinson County town of Belle Springs, a community settled by River Brethren families from Pennsylvania.  The original creamery was developed for the purpose of manufacturing butter.  In 1892, a new creamery was built outside of Abilene in Prospect Park.  The large brick creamery that is pictured here was built in 1902 in Abilene close to the original location of the Drover’s Cottage, Abilene’s largest hotel during the cattle town days.  The Belle Springs Creamery produced ice and many dairy products, including butter, cheese, and ice cream.  The David and Ida Eisenhower family moved to Abilene due to David acquiring employment at the creamery.  He would hold a position there for over twenty years.  His son Dwight, future General and President, also worked for the Belle Springs Creamery before leaving Abilene to begin his military career. Read More→